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Port Orange Observer Wednesday, Jul. 25, 2018 2 years ago

The great equalizer

The perfect shot for the hopelessly unathletic.
by: Ray Boone Sports Editor

Are you slow? Are you not very strong? Can you barely touch the net when you jump?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then I have terrible news for you: You’re probably unathletic. But don’t worry. Things can get better.

If you find yourself struggling to keep up with your more athletically gifted peers, there is a way to equalize things — with the “Great Equalizer” itself — the 3-point shot.

I played in Palm Coast’s adult basketball league this summer. And in each of our eight blowout losses, I discovered that I could barely breathe, let alone stop an opposing team from scoring 100 points.

But an hour before the league’s championship game, there was an official 3-point contest, featuring the best 3-point shooter from each of the five teams in the league. The contest was set up like a traditional NBA All-Star 3-point shootout: You shoot five balls from five spots each, with the last ball serving as a “money ball,” which was worth 2 points instead of 1.

With my poor wife and sister in attendance, I made it through the first round, scoring 12 points.

I went into the second, and final, round against Eric Guerrero, an assistant coach on Flagler Palm Coast’s girls basketball team, and Giovanni Mendez, a former basketball player at FPC and one of the top players on Moody Homes, the team that ultimately won the championship that night.

Guerrero calmly scored 14 points. Mendez ripped the net for 17 points. And finally, it was my turn.

Again, I’m not the most athletic person. But, that doesn’t really matter when you’re open from beyond the arc.

I scored 17 points but ultimately lost to Mendez due to a tie-breaker rule (he made more shots on his last rack than I).

But regardless, I felt confident. I went toe-to-toe with experienced and talented basketball players — and held my own.

The 3-point shot is not the great equalizer in the sense of the large amount of points the bucket’s worth. It’s equalizing in the sense that it doesn’t matter if you’re strong or jump high or run fast. If you can get open and get the shot off, you can make up for a lack of dunking ability.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced player or, simply, a young sports journalist: The points are worth the same if the ball goes in.

Ray Boone is the sports editor for the Palm Coast, Ormond Beach and Port Orange Observers. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2017 with a bachelor of science in journalism.

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